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Blue and White Swallow

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Photograph by Robert Scanlon

The upperparts are a glossy blue while the wings and tail are black. The underparts are white from the throat downwards and the undertail coverts are black. the tail is slightly forked. The immature are brown above with pinkish brown on the throat and darker brown on the chest. The adult size is 4.7 inches (12 cm) and the weight is 10.5 grams.

The White-winged Swallow is very similar to the Blue and White Swallow. A key difference is the white wing patch evident on the folded wings of the White-winged Swallow but absent in Blue and White Swallow. If viewed from below the white wing patch looks like a thin white line on the bend of the wing. Additionally, the Blue and White Swallow shows a contrast between white breast and belly and dark gray ventral area, whilst White-winged Swallows are concolourous underneath.

This South American visitor to Trinidad comes from late May to October. It is usually seen over savannahs circling for insects or resting on telephone or electricity wires. It is a gregarious bird and rests in the company of others of its species.

Family - Swallow

Latin Name - Notiochelidon cyanoleuca

Range - Mexico south to South America covering Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and the Guianas.

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Photograph by Peter Price



Alexander F. Skutch, 1952. Life History of the Blue and White Swallow. Auk Vol. 69 392 - 399

Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London

A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London


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All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. No portion of the material on this site, including the photographs, may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey. The permission of the other owners of the photographs must also be obtained for use.   

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Last modified: February 16, 2008